By Lorraine Wangari

Since January we have had quite a number of twitter trends of different topics, however, there was one that really caught my attention. This is a question which asks O Jewa Ke Eng? This question is in the Sesotho language and it means what is eating you up?

Since the O Jewa Ke Eng trend which started on 5th January 2019 people have genuinely spoken about what has been bothering them. This so unlike the picture- perfect social media that we are used to where everyone posts about their happiness, food they are eating or “perfect” lifestyle.

People spoke of the different things as they quoted this tweet. Many needs were highlighted including joblessness, lack of funds, education-related problems, some are craving for parental love, others are in difficult marriages while others were single and expressed they truly desire to love and to be loved and there were those who had problems in relation to their mental health. However, after quoting this tweet most problems seemed to be smaller as the answers were right there on the online space.

The tweet garnered more than 9000 retweets, 30 000 likes and 14000 comments by May 2019. As days pass more people comment under the tweet as they get the help they need.

The good side of humanity came to play all through a single tweet. However, I believe we have something to take home. Let us brainstorm through a few questions

What if we asked how you are and actually meant to ask how you are?

What if we didn’t take it as any ordinary question, or greeting or just a politically correct thing that we ask in passing?

What if we actually responded with the truth when asked how you are, how much help would we get?

What if we actually showed genuine concern for people’s needs?

What if we are true to our emotions and those of others?

Well, so many of the responses are clear signs of the masks we are wearing, that deep inside we are crying for help. They are signs that we are living in anguish and our lives are crushing, that people have solutions to our problems but sometimes choose to make jokes about them. The responses are shouting we are desperate for help that we need to be a little more sensitive. It is a sign that a majority of us need therapy. So many people are going through the worst and have no way of coping with it.

If only we could take time to listen. If only we would never get tired of listening, we will have fewer people committing suicide. We should show genuine concern for people around us before they collapse not just telling people to “Hang on in there”. Let us learn to be kind to one another, that way we will have more problems solved.

O jewa ke eng tweet has gotten people the various things they have requested. People got jobs, businesses have kicked off, crowdfunding was done to enable people to live or study, problems were sorted, someone could live one more day because their feelings and emotions were addressed. My hope is that this never changes.

Therefore, O jewa ke eng?

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